Gogos eye soccer world cup glory

Proteaville Seniors Fitness Club soccer coach, Gregory Bagley, takes Dorothy Koopman and her teammates through their paces at last weeks trials for elderly women, at the Heideveld sports complex. This is part of a national process to select a squad for the Elderly Womens World Cup, which will take place in France, in June.

Soccer trials were held for women over the age of 60 at the Heideveld sportsfield last week to select a national team set to play in the Elderly Women’s Soccer World Cup in France in June.

Although tasked with picking five players from the province, the selectors jotted down the names of 20 players who put up their hands.

They may not have pace, speed and skill, but the players who turned up on the day had heart, which is exactly what the selectors were looking for.

The group of 20 gogos who were selected, will be narrowed down to a final five on Monday, March 25, who will then play against other SA provinces before the final squad of 20 is chosen.

The trials for the SA Elderly Women’s team were attended by former SA professional footballers in both men’s and women’s categories, youngsters who came to support the gogos, Heideveld councillor Anthony Moses, as well as the Safa Western Cape technical team.

SA Elderly Women’s team co-ordinator, Josina Tellie, said the turnout of elderly women was more than what they had expected. She said the team is competitive they will have to deal with other provincial teams from Gauteng, KZN and Eastern Cape.

“So far, the Western Cape has been excellent. There’s also Gauteng that we will be going to next. They are competitive because they have a soccer league that is running for the elderly,” she said.

Tellie said the elderly are an inspiration to their peers and to the youngsters.

“If you have a dream of being a soccer player just look up to the elderly because if they can do it, you can do it. Even if you think you can’t play soccer go to trials because they may see something you can’t.

“Right now, the elderly need support from the corporate sector and everyone because some need to take care of their grandchildren, take care of their health and there is no better way than doing this by playing soccer,” she said.

Metro Senior Female’s Soccer Club’s Sharon Laing said she has been a part of women’s football for more than 12 years in the province, but, this is the first time such an initiative has been done for the gogos and 10 of her players were selected.

She said the trials were very well organised and well attended.

“It is a team of very young 60 year olds. If we can make it to France, I know there is a bright future because we are still going to play in the province. Like SAFA promised, they will be with us all the way,” she said.